I just bought my first travel trailer this past Saturday, 9/23. I'm pretty excited about it. My wife has decided to name it "Stargazer." It's a 1964
Overlander, twin bed layout.
It was tons of fun pulling up a steep grade gravel road on this farm I picked it up from, but it was a great adventure. Surprisingly (or not) my 2017 Chevrolet work truck (regular cab, short bed, 2WD, V6, automatic) had little trouble pulling it up (except the sliding gravel issue which I had to back into the field beind that was level and grassy and get a running start).
Never had experience with sway bars, so I didn't know that's what they were (nor did the owner... who was 3rd owner of this land and never used the trailer). I found that the trailer pulled very nicely up to 55 mph before starting to sway. Now I know what the sway bars are and how their used, I'll be using those next time. I was also surprised how well the truck did with breaking since, at the time, my trailer break controller had not arrived yet. I'm not sure what the condition of the trailer breaks are, but I'll have them looked at when I have the tire shop check the tires over (one was still at full 50 PSI, while one was at 20 PSI, one at 10 PSI, and the other had no air, I've checked the air in them every day and their still holding at 45 PSI which is what I aired them to). They're in good shape for 8 year old tires that had been sitting for 6 years.
All in all it's in decent shape. floor is in good shape. I found the owner who last did work to it in 2010, and he had already replaced the plumbing and electrical. He had replaced most of the glass with Plexiglas because those windows had been blown out in a tornado (the trailer is in great shape for being, I'm assuming, near a tornado. One of the Plexiglas windows is broken, so I'll be replacing that with glass immediately, however the rest stay until I have more time to work on them. The tub has a bad spiderweb crack in it, so that will need to be replaced, but for now I'll fill the cracks and it will do for our trip in a week and a half.
The refrigerator and stove still work, but I'll need to clean them up a little. It appears a lot of the oak plywood doors were replaced with thicker pine plywood, as well as several of the panels. The water heater works too, but it is original. I'm thinking I should just replace it since it's over 50 years old. I'm not sure it's worth rebuilding.
It appears to have no leaks (It rained hard Sunday for 4 hours, and it's been a steady light rain all morning this morning). It has some major dents on the bottom edges and a couple of big corner dents. the corner dents probably can be pulled, however I may have to re-skin the bottom edge skins. There's a gash near the back tire on the road side. It's up into the body panel a little and then into the edge panel that rolls under. Not sure exactly what I'll do with the part that's on the body panel, perhaps I'll rivet a patch over it.
Eventually I'd like to fully restore it, however I don't want it to look like it came right out of the factory. I'd like to have some of the marks and smaller dings, and even a patch or two. It all is part of it's story.
Something else neat, it still has the original owner's manual (though the cover and several pages in have been eaten by what appears to be a mouse, but it's not a terribly huge amount of damage. There are also stickers just inside on the panel above the refrigerator from when the original owner when to club rallies in the 1960's where he lived. Also the back window has a decal in the corner for the Olympics in Mexico in 1968
Right now it's pretty dirty on the outside, so I'm headed out to wash it down, in the rain... I think that's appropriate.
The inside needs a good scrubbing too, but it's in usable condition and will suit my family just fine for our week trip up north.
I'll keep everyone updated, and pose questions, while I'm doing repairs.